Its first trial, at 6am in dark and foggy Eureka outside St. Josephs proved a success. A momentary glitch with the generator aside, in no time the RV was a well lit, warm beacon for nurses, who stopped in for hot coffee, donuts, and a chance to talk about the upcoming election, as well as their own contract negotiations. Five hours flew by quickly, and it was time to head east, towards Redding.
People in Eureka talk of a sense of isolation from the rest of the state. The isolation is real, given the few ways in and out of the area. While the trip to Redding on Rt. 299 seemed from the map a short distance, everyone assured us that driving an RV as well as a mobile billboard would take at least 4 hours, even though we would be traveling a mere 130 miles. Of course, the locals knew best. While the drive over the mountains of the Trinity National Forest and along the Trinity River is indeed beautiful, one has little time to appreciate it as they negotiate the hairpins and switchbacks on the narrow road. We arrived at the Alliance for a Better California Coalition (ABC) headquarters in Redding, where a number of phone banking teachers came out to greet us, and we discussed plans for our next day joint press conference in front of city hall.